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Kids drive cars for all sorts of reasons. Sometimes little kids get it in their mind to go on a joy ride. Sometimes they take it upon themselves to drive to the store or a friend’s house. Other times it’s out of necessity – they drive because a parent is incapacitated or drunk. Often times these stories end with an amusing anecdote. Other times, however, when kids get behind the wheel, things end in tragedy. Here are some of the stories behind the statistics:

High speed joy ride
n December of 2020, a 12-year-old boy in New York stole his parents’ Range Rover and took his 7-year-old cousin on a 5 hour joy ride, with speeds that reached 100 miles per hour. When they were finally caught by police, the little girl said, “Yeah, it was good.” Her only complaint: “I wish I was driving.” (The Week, 12-25-2020, p. 6)

Nine killed when 13-year-old driver crashes
A 13-year-old boy was behind the wheel driving a pickup truck, an adult male in the passenger seat. A group of University student athletes and their coach were returning from a tournament driving in the opposite lane. That’s when the truck crossed the center lane of the 2 lane road, crashing into the van head on and killing everyone inside both vehicles.

Investigators say the truck was driving with a spare on the front left tire, which blew out before the impact. This would certainly explain the cause of the crash, especially with a 13-year-old behind the wheel, who may not have had the muscle strength to control it. Although police were mum on why a 13-year-old was driving, when you have cases like this with a 38-year-old adult in the passenger seat, it usually means the adult was drunk and needed the child to drive them home. (Fernando, 2022)

See also…

Fernando, C. (2022, March 18) “NTSB: 13-year-old driver in Texas crash,” USA Today, p. 7A

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